In the last few decades, the world has morphed from a place full of long op-ed pieces and detail-filled writing to a fast paced, social-media-driven land where people want easy-to-read, simply understood content that they don’t have to work to comprehend. Out of this desire for instant gratification comes the Listicle, the newest method for quickly transferring information. So, why should you care about Listicles? Well, if you want to get your readers to listen to you, buy your product and become a new fan, pay attention.
Now, I can hear you saying to yourself, “Phil, you’re just making words up and trying to confuse me with industry lingo.” But no, fearless, handsome/pretty reader – the Listicle is real. A Listicle, believe it or not, is an article in list format, and perfectly exemplifies what I’m talking about here. Instead of saying “List Article,” I’ve shortened it to “Listicle.” I’ve now removed three letters, which means you have three less things to process, understand and appreciate. I’ve just saved you ¼ of a second. High fives and fist bumps all around.
Every Internet user has encountered a Listicle. They often use titles like, “10 Ideas You Should Present to Your Boss,” “12 Way to Improve Your Website and Business,” or “27 Reasons Why Bears are Really Just Misunderstood Cuddle Bugs.” Articles like this are quickly gaining popularity, especially with websites like Buzzfeed and Facebook, but why are they such a big deal?
Simply stated, people don’t really want to read everything they’re given. I’ll bet that you won’t make it to the end of this article, much less the end of this paragraph, without jumping around and looking for key points or short sentences that don’t require a lot of thought. If you present your reader with a huge wall of content, they’re going to do one of three things:
- Skip the paragraph, or your entire article, and eat another Oreo
- Jump around in the content as fast as possible, pick up a few facts completely out of context and miss your entire message, then relay misinformation to everyone around them
- Legitimately read the content, but become annoyed with the length of the copy and start trolling the comments section
Listicles are a convenient method for getting your point across quickly and succinctly. People don’t want to have to read a lot of fluff or dig around for the important stuff. They’re there for the facts, ma’am – not your ponderings on a subject they’re already familiar with. Listicles draw the reader in, give them the information with a few relatable or funny statements, images or quick quips that are easily remembered, and then release the reader back into the world with the satisfaction of gaining knowledge that they didn’t have to put pants on to obtain.
Social media specialists, copywriters and PR experts, like the folks we have here at EPIC Creative®, understand the value of the Listicle. Our staff keeps our collective ear to the ground about emerging trends, and we’ve embraced the Listicle in all its glory. Heck, we just put an article explaining “5 tips for keeping your B2B blog from tanking,” and more than a few people have checked it out.
So, when you want to get your message across without overloading or boring your readers, write a Listicle. Better yet, have one of the folks over at EPIC handle the job. You’ll get a great article, your readers will get the information they need in the fastest way in the West, and you’ll see what a Listicle can do. Then, you can pat yourself on the back and eat a few more Oreos (just be sure to share with EPIC – we love cookies).